Letter to Former US Ambassadors to Ethiopia and Others

There is an organized effort to distort facts and portray Ethiopia in a negative image, to the extent of branding it as an aggressor or provocateur of war.

by dula

At Least 32 Killed in Ethiopia's Oromia, Somali Regions

Former U.S. ambassadors to Ethiopia and some Western institutions are lambasting Ethiopia based on information gleaned from social media or their contacts, enlisted during the last three decades of TPLF rule, an ethnic cabal famous for silencing the opposition, disinformation and dazzling Westerners.

Critics of the current reformist government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia are responsible  for propagating misinformation, creating an impression of a monster regime bent on abusing its citizens in Tigray by serving as a conduit for the TPLF, which created the current unstable and conflict-laden environment in the country, not only by firing the first shots at the various military barracks in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia , but also by establishing ethnic federalism that has been the main source of ethnic conflicts and of displacement of millions of people around the country.

Western Critics use Unreliable Sources and engage in Exaggerated Narratives

One of the major problems with Westerners is their failure to differentiate between the people of Tigray, and the TPLF Junta, which was an “equal opportunity oppressor” of the people of Tigray and Ethiopia. Most of the critics of Dr. Abiy are members of the junta, as well as friends and beneficiaries. If the Junta really cared, millions of people in Tigray would not have remained dependent on international food aid to this day.

Furthermore, crying foul by external critics and internal detractors of PM Ahmed over the presence of Eritrean troops is a clear illustration of a double standard. The U.S. or its Ambassadors to Ethiopia, for example, never complained when Ethiopians troops went to Somalia to fight Al Shebab at the behest of America and other Western countries, or found fault with the U.S. presence in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, S. Korea, Japan, or Europe.

Eritrea Saved the Horn from Imploding with Chaos

If Eritrea is present in the northern region of Tigray at the invitation of Ethiopia, there is no reason to deride Eritrea based on unproven Twitter and social media allegations of misconduct. If it were not for Eritrea, Ethiopia and the whole Horn of Africa might have imploded with violence and social upheaval. Besides warning Sudan and Egypt not to take advantage of Ethiopia while at war with a rebellious regional government in the north (Tigray), Eritrea enabled Ethiopia to end the conflict in a matter of weeks by allowing Ethiopian troops to retreat and regroup in Eritrea.

From all indications, it is clear that there is an organized effort to distort facts and portray Ethiopia in a negative image, to the extent of branding it as an aggressor or provocateur of war in the media. This is true even in the eyes of some members of the U.S. Congress. Such a narrative is orchestrated by agents of TPLF and their highly organized PR machine in the U.S. and Europe.

Critics of Ethiopia were Coopted or Hoodwinked by TPLF

Critics like Susan Stigant of USIP charged that Ethiopia may be characterized as a failed state during a congressional testimony last December. But she failed to mention that it is the system, which many of the current critics supported during the 27 years of TPLF’s minority ethnic rule that is responsible for the predicament in which Ethiopia finds itself today. Ms. Stigant and her colleagues failed to condemn such system despite numerous warnings and pleas from the opposition about the danger of creating ethnic federalism in Ethiopia, which the TPLF championed while governing under an ethnic-based oligarchy.

The disinformation about the war in Tigray and Eritrea’s involvement in it is fanned by TPLF social media, critics, and friends of TPLF in the academia, and in some diplomatic circles. For example, BBC apologized to Dr. Abiy Ahmed for falsely accusing him of a plan to bomb civilians in Tigray, based on uncorroborated report.  The Washington Post discovered that TPLF agents took over or monopolized the Twitter traffic with their false narrative portraying Ethiopia as the aggressor and then demanding a ceasefire when TPLF started losing the war. This was also to obfuscate the fact that TPLF initiated the war by killing Ethiopian soldiers, many of them while in sleep at their military posts guarding the international border with neighboring Eritrea, looting their equipment, and forcing the rest to flee naked to Eritrea.

TPLF PR and Money Spread Disinformation

The TPLF Junta ruled the country for 27 years by using a strategy of silencing the Ethiopian Diaspora and muzzling the domestic opposition from revealing its criminal enterprise, which included stealing from Ethiopia billions, and disproportionately controlling the military and commerce, and other parastatals, as well as powerful state agencies. Consequently, most of the billionaires and millionaires in Ethiopia today are Tigrayans, though they constitute only 6% of the population.

Many intellectuals and government representatives, such as Tony Blair of Great Britain, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Nobel Laureates, and others were victims of a highly organized PR propaganda that prevented them from acknowledging the plight of the Ethiopian people as they were fed with distorted narratives. To show their power, recently TPLF agents supposedly garnered over 2300 signatures from “who’s who” in academia and other professions around the world in less than a week to sign in support of TPLF narratives, leading some political pundits  in Europe and the USA to demand Ethiopia to stop defending itself; EU suspended aid to Ethiopians a result. One wonders what Ethiopia would have looked like if TPLF’s coup attempt succeeded.

Should Ethiopian Soldiers Have Surrendered to TPLF?

As a historical illustration, the American Civil War was started when Southern rebels attacked federal forces. Would a reasonable person ever expect Lincoln to acquiesce to the confederate takeover, slavery, or the breakup of the Union? Some countries including the U.S. engage in preemptive attacks against an enemy because of perceived threat or fear without the other party firing one single shot. However, Ethiopia was blamed for responding in a proportionate and calculated manner while protecting civilians and historical sites, and for coming to the rescue of its soldiers.

Another illustration is the recent attack on Capitol Hill by white nationalists and supporters of former President Trump, which was condemned universally, but none of you condemned the TPLF attack using thanks, rockets, and machine guns to slaughter Ethiopian soldiers while asleep, or even the most recent Sudanese invasion of Ethiopian territory for that matter.

In an interview with BBC, US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Tibor Nagy, had corroborated that Ethiopia was attacked, its soldiers were killed, and its military hardware looted. We believe most of your colleagues have access to the same information as that of the diplomat. The false narrative focusing on Ethiopia and Eritrea without mentioning this egregious TPLF heinous crime against Ethiopian soldiers is demonstrably biased and unforgiveable. To attack a poor country like Ethiopia, USIP,  CSIS and other U.S. agencies are often fooled by propaganda hatched and disseminated by agents of the former regime. For many Ethiopians, TPLF was the worst regime ever came to power in Ethiopia, and some even compare it to Khmer Rouge and other notorious regimes around the world. TPLF posed a mortal danger to the survival of Ethiopia as a state and brought untold misery and agony on the Ethiopian people without the world ever realizing it.

TPLF Left Ethiopia Ungovernable and Unlivable

I argue that the TPLF regime and the ethnic federalism it created, which some of you fervently supported, made Ethiopia unstable, unlivable, ungovernable, and difficult to live in, to trade or travel for the majority of Ethiopians due to the ethnic animosity the system created.

Ethiopians are deeply dismayed about the Western media and the disinformation campaign they are waging against Ethiopia by relying on opinions of so-called regional experts, who have very limited knowledge about the complexities of politics, economics, and history of the Horn of Africa. For instance, Alex De Waal, a British national at Tuft’s university, memorialized Seyoum Mesfin, the politburo   member and foreign minister of TPLF and the architect of the coup.  Martin Plaut, another former BBC correspondent, reported, “The Ethiopian government stole the Ark of Covenant from Axum and executed 750 priests in front of the church.” This false statement could only have come from the most zealous supporter of the TPLF, not a professional journalist who reports for one of the most renowned foreign news agencies. As a longtime observer of Ethiopian politics, I know these statements are not based on facts but on fabricated, partisan accounts that normally originate from agents of the TPLF. I also suggest in the strongest terms possible that you read the distorted reporting of the Economist, another British magazine’s innuendo alleging that Ethiopia is deliberately starving the people of Tigray to win the war.

Ethiopians Dismayed by Western Critics and Media

Because of these and many negative portrayals of Ethiopia, American citizens of Ethiopian descent here in the states feel that our country of origin is becoming the “punching bag” of the Western media. We feel that Ethiopia is not getting a fair treatment by Western media and so-called Ethiopian experts of foreign backgrounds. Of course, TPLF built a huge PR machine, a strong relationship in the media and other important places during the last 30-40 years using stolen funds from the country and was able to stifle the voices of the opposition. As a result, we are very concerned about the continuous distortion of facts, disinformation, and the appearance of a double standard used against Ethiopia. We regard USIP, CSIP, and former American Ambassadors to Ethiopia as allies only if they take the time to check all the facts on the ground and not be swayed by disinformation and past personal relationships that they built with some members of the criminal TPLF regime.

3 comments

  1. In another news, the new Biden Administration just announced that it will double the number of refugees to come to the US. That is great news for those who really need rehabilitation in foreign lands. But I have legitimate concern. I am afraid now that many of those savages who committed massacre at Mai-Kadra will be able to use this opportunity to come here thumbing their noses at justice and right at our faces. Once they get here they will be able to disappear into the thin air living off the 30 billion plus US dollars pilfered from that nation’s coffers by their bosses during the long 27 years between 1991 and 2018. You just watch.

  2. It is expected of us that we have been keenly watching watch is going on in the old country. We should not also lose sight of what is going on right here where all call it home. Today the former President Trump was acquitted of all charges by the senate. It is very welcome news for those 74 million plus people who voted for him. It has also left the road open for him to do whatever he wants to his political life. He will now be like a wounded leopard. The next four years are going to be very interesting. He and his protégés have a huge mass that feels threatened and looking for a savior. Not scary but worth to closely watch. The pandemic will be over sooner or later within a year or two and it may not be a lingering issue to be politicized. If the economy goes sour in 2023 or during the months leading to 2024, there is a good chance Trump may even be re-elected. It he is not, another protégé could win the election. Phew!!! It is going to be a heck of a ride!!!!

  3. @dula,

    You were saying: “There is an organized effort to distort facts and portray Ethiopia in a negative image. . .” Well, well, anyway:

    We love Ethiopia, we wish the destruction of all our countries enemies – no matter who they are, where they are.

    TPLF is dead – it will remain dead, no matter what anyone says and does.

    Some of the current media attention and focus is god’s gift to Ethiopia – if used properly.

    In any case, we enthusiastically celebrate the demise of the TPLF criminal gangs. However, we have very, very little trust on the declared democratic reforms of Abiy Ahmed and his government and his PP – which is nothing more than EPRDF by another name, controlled by ODP as opposed to the old EPRDF which was controlled by the TPLF. In general, our celebrations, our joy, at the demise of the TPLF criminal gang is very much dampened by Abiy Ahmed and his government that are threatening to be even worse than the criminal group that it has replaced – more on that later.

    In any case, some continue to greatly exaggerate the effect of the media campaign by the TPLF supporters and their mercenaries – in truth, most of it is likely to be just empty noise, with no significant impact whatsoever. In that, we have also TPLF supporters demonstrating in Western Capitals, lying on city streets, being nuisance and stopping traffic, carrying around empty coffins and so on and so forth. Well, in that, we only wish that the Ethiopian government and any other entity, even the devil itself, if it is participating, to harry up, and expire some more of the remnants of the TPLF criminals, especially those who resist lawful arrest, like that little vermin, the scoundrel, Seyum Mesfin, and send their carcasses to them.

    We beg all those working to root out the TPLF, to send the carcasses of those who have been executed while resisting arrest to the TPLF supports in the West urgently. That way, instead of the idiots carrying around empty coffins, they will be able to carry around coffins with one of the TPLF criminals – their heroes! – inside in the coffins. In regard to those lying in city streets, being nuisance and stopping traffic, it is entirely possible, sooner or later, someone might, accidentally off course, run over a few them – we will then happily start a go fund me page to cover the legal costs of these drivers.

    In any case, the TPLF’s demise, the end of that cancer who has been eating mercilessly at the body of our country for so long, should have been singularly the most joyous of occasions for all those who love and care for Ethiopia. However, that joy is seriously dampened because we have now to contend with a schizophrenic government, that is hell-bent on damaging the country, adept at using misleading rhetoric and lies and misinformation itself – in short being more TPLF than TPLF.

    There is this term called hutzpah that has been translated as killing your parents and asking for mercy because now you are an orphan. Well, Abiy Ahmed and his government are all full of hutzpah, behind most of the problems in the country lies the machinations of Abiy Ahmed and his government. While it was true, TPLF has played a great part in instigation of chaos and dislocations and genocides against the Amara including in Metekel and other regions – ODP tacitly supported and participated and more in these endeavors – e.g., Shimeles Abdisa’s speech, actions and inactions in regard to what happened in Shashemene and Metekel and even in Addis Ababa. In that, we have the very corrupt Takele Uma, and now following him, Adanech Abebe equally as corrupt, who continue to disenfranchise and intimidate Addis Ababan’s. . .

    In any case, among other things, for a long time now, some of us have wondered why Abiy Ahmed was appointing and giving the biggest stage, the biggest megaphones almost exclusively to radical ethno nationalists.

    Clearly, this was because Abiy Ahmed saw the radicalization of the Oromo, making them unruly, subtly and tacitly encouraging them to continue to make utterly self and gross demands, including demands in regard to Addis Ababa, and so on and so forth as being good for him – because he will then portray and offer himself as the savior of the country, as the only one, the reasonable one – to all those frightened by the unruly mob that seem to have lost its mind. And all that is working, among other things, the man is now fighting the OLF, a group that he himself gave relevance to and empowered and more – Abiy Ahmed’s supporters come out and talk about what a great job he is doing and so on. Well, in some ways, just like the author of the above article also seem to be doing.

    We must recognize that the continuity of Ethiopia, its very existence, depends on Ethiopians being able to constrain Abiy Ahmed and his envoys of chaos and mayhem, his attack dogs, the ultra-ethno nationalist gangs such as Taye Dendea, Shimeles Abdisa, Aba Dula Gemeda, Lencho Bati and others.

    Abiy Ahmed and ultra-ethno nationalist gangs always saw Amhara more of an enemy than the TPLF – and hence, the continued campaign of demonization and continued orchestrations and intensification of genocide against the Amhara in various parts of the country – including Metekel and Oromo regions and other parts. It is important too, we need to recognize that the media attention, however unfair, would definitely be useful in making the upcoming election more transparent and more fair than it would be otherwise.

    In that regard, the upcoming election is very, very important, as such, while Abiy Ahmed and his ultra-ethno nationalists will try to rig the election as much as they could, the media attention on the country, however unfair, will be something that can make them think twice, at least, limit their success.

    We should use the continued media focus on the country to bring to the forefront the unjust imprisonment of Eskinder Nega, freedom for those who are hoping to compete in the upcoming elections to hold rallies and demonstrations, to express themselves otherwise – so far they have been denied and intimidated – media freedom in the country, the continued genocide of the Amara in Metekel and other parts of Oromo and more.

    In general, we must try to turn the media’s attention – including that of former U.S. ambassadors to Ethiopia and some Western institution – from their narrow focus on Tigray, towards getting them to look more into other problems in the rest of the country including the upcoming election. Without media attention, Abiy Ahmed is set to be even more dangerous to Ethiopia’s continued existence than the now dead TPLF!

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